Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Angry Penguin

A parcel arrives from America. It is addressed to me. This is exciting and unusual because unlike everyone else in the household I have not had a birthday for weeks and I do not do TradeMe. I open it, wondering what could be within. A writer’s clock, perhaps?

Uh-oh. It is a copy of I’ll Go Home Then, It’s Warm and Has Chairs: the unpublished emails by David Thorne. I ordered it so I would have the copy with the penguin on the cover, as above, and not the revised version with cats which came about because Penguin objected to the penguin – see the correspondence here. It is a wonderful exchange, which Penguin’s copyright lawyer ends by saying, unarguably, that:
there are any number of alternatives to Antarctica such as skiing or being in space.
This is Thorne’s second book: the first one I received as a 2010 Christmas present from myself. It was the funniest book I have ever read. This will be possibly the second-funniest book I have ever read so I must not open it because I am writing my own book, for money, so must not be distracted. Maybe just the introduction:
[. . .] The only emails I ignore are those sent from New Zealand. The narrow emotional ledge on which New Zealanders squat may have a grand view but nothing good can come from communicating with these people.
So here are Fairport Convention in 2009 with Richard Thompson’s “Meet on the Ledge” with Richard Thompson himself on beret and guitar, not to mention Linda Thompson, Teddy Thompson, a bunch of other old folkies and the great Dave Mattacks on drums:

If you prefer your Richard Thompson straight, as many do, here he is performing the song solo, acoustic and in Australia.


Chris Bell said...

"I am writing my own book, for money"

Swoon. My hero.

Stephen Stratford said...

Yeah, eat your heart out.

Except there's a tiny bit more pressure this way, as in great expectations. As in, a deadline.